Dark Brightness

Bleak Theology: Hopeful Science

False spirituality

I’ve realized that my post about epidemiology has a flaw in it. The first illustration is behind a pay wall. If I use other sites graphics, I link to that site, not download the graphic and insert it myself. As a result, I see the illustration when at the university (where the institution allows me to see the journal) and not at home. This is an inadvertant consequence of our copyright law and lack of open access.

The good news is that most of the theology stuff I quote is easily available.

I could wax about today’s topic, but those issues have been well canvassed overnight.

Colossians 2:8-23

8See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. 9For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. 11In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; 12when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, 14erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. 15He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.

16Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. 17These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, 19and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.

Now, there is a tendency to see spirituality in the supernatural superstitions… ranging from meditiation and prayer to some guru or hindu God (see Eat, Pray, Love) or the current fad for Vampires, Werewolves. Or the “redisovery” (really the invention) of pagan cults like wicca.

These things can infect us. We can find ourselves accommodating the spirit of the age, not confronting it. And when this happen, we lose the ideas of Christ. Paul returned to Christ for a reason: all ouf our spiritual growth flows from him, not from any virtue we have, or any mystic experience.

We should be very cautious about those who teach spirituality, or proclaim their spiritual perfection. This life is imperfect. We are fallen. True spirituality flows from Christ. False spirituality does not.

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